As women we are all made uniquely beautiful complete with our own curves, waist to hip ratios right down to different length of fingers and toes and of course breast shapes. Some breasts may be small and pointy, some round and lifted and some may even sit flatter width wise; the combinations are endless. All are beautiful, but also make purchasing and correctly fitting the ideal bra for your unique bust shape and size issues full.
At Dear Eve Lingerie our mission is to assist you to not run away from the sometimes-gruelling task of bra shopping. We do this by pinpointing some of the most common bra fitting problems and giving you some of the solutions, so that you are ready to face them the next time you are shopping for bras.
While you may think that knowing whether you are AA 12 or a DD 16 is the most important thing when buying a bra, much of the research in this area says the issues around bras not fitting correctly stem from other factors. A NYTimes article reported that a bra fitter, through her job at Victoria Secret, learnt that the size tag was not the issue, it was knowing how to look for the right fit. Another well-loved lingerie business blog also echoed this sentiment saying that a bra size is just one piece of the bra fitting puzzle and puzzle it sure is.
To make it super easy for you, we have got down it down to the top three issues. Bands, straps and cups.
First thing is put on the bra and look at yourself in the changing room mirror. If the bottom band of your bra looks like it is sitting straight across, then thumbs up. If this is not the case it could be caused by you adjusting the straps too much. Many women go for the straps first to make them tighter when a bra isn’t fitting right. Or when you want your boobs to not look saggy, shortening the straps makes sense. But what women don’t know is, that if you make the straps too short this will pull up your bra at the back, and it will dig into the top of your shoulders and make you feel restricted.
The bottom band of a bra is what gives the most support and the straps come after that. If a bra feels like it is riding up, then loosening the straps rather than tightening them is the thing to do. Almost all our Dear Eve bra styles have strong and adjustable straps.
Next is closing your eyes and feeling how your bust is sitting in your bra in terms of support. When you lengthen the straps on a bra, it’s also a good idea to move the hook and eye clasp tighter. Try the different clasp choices you have. If you are still not feeling quite right, we suggest choosing a bra style with band size that is smaller in circumference.
After choosing a smaller bra band size make sure to also check that the cups fit your breast size well, however, this is when it can get confusing. The petticoatfair blog explains this well, it says for every band size you go down, you should go up one cup size. So, if have a bra that is 34D and the cups are feeling good, but you need a smaller band size of say 32 then you would need to choose a 32DD to get the same cup fit.
The back of your bra must also fit well and not tight because it will restrict your breathing. If the band is too tight and is digging into your back, then choose the next size up. More and more bra extenders are appearing on the lingerie market as a handy tool to help you modify a super tight bra band by making it longer and widening the fit. A bra extender also does not change the cup size. You can buy bra extenders just on their own, or sometimes they come as part of a bra style. The popular Dear Eve Vars strapless bra comes with a handy extender to make adjusting your strapless bra super easy. Check it out.
Straps on a bra are next on the list in helping to make your bra fit perfectly. In the construction of a bra, the straps are connected to the cups of the bra, so moving the straps up or down changes how the cups feel around your breasts. Straps are not designed to raise the whole of the bust.
Shortening the straps on the bra needs a bit of care because in many cases if you do this too much then the back of your bra will pull up. A good tip is to do the opposite, loosen the straps but tighten the clasp at the back to make the band tighter instead. By doing this it will be better for your posture and back in the long run. Also believe it or not your body can shrink and lengthen every day, not by much, but it is worth checking the straps on your bra every day just in case.
Bra cups should be looked at as individual components of your bra when fitting. The cup should fit snuggly around your entire breast. For example, picture a nut inside of its shell, it fits so well, right? A breast shouldn’t pop out over the top of a cup, and it shouldn’t be flattening and squashing it up against your breastbone either. The middle of your breasts shouldn’t be pushed together so much that you can see another mound forming. If your breast is popping out it is clear you need to choose a bra with bigger cups. Also, a good way to check if the cup size is too loose is then do a yoga forward bend and see if your breasts are jiggling to freely inside of each cup.
As mentioned at the beginning of this blog each woman will have entirely different breast shapes, but also in some women one breast size can also differ from the other. Isn’t the human body extraordinary? If this is the case with you, first don’t feel shame as it is a common trait. Second, our advice is to make sure the larger breast fit the best in the cup, because there are bra pads that can be added into the cup with the smaller breast. Sometime bras will come with inserts and one of these can be removed.
Underwire bras, of which Dear Eve has plenty, come in handy because when fitting cup sizes, a well-designed underwire bra will prop up your breasts without squashing your breast tissue. A good thing to remember is that the wire needs to lie flat around your torso.
The missmaryofsweden blog is a great resource when it comes to looking at the different heights of underwire in bra designs. The blog says if the end of the underwire pokes uncomfortably between the breasts, try a different model on which the underwires stop further down or on which they meet at a different angle. Additionally, bras which have lower cuts are better if you find they are digging in under your arms. Just remember the wire needs to feel comfortable because if it doesn’t it can damage your breast tissue which is incredibly soft and vulnerable.
Finally, at Dear Eve Lingerie we always emphasise the message that fitting your bra correctly is not just about how it looks on the outside, it’s also very importantly about caring for the health of your bust, back and shoulders and about caring for your inner world and how you feel about yourself. If your bra fits well, so will feel better in your outfit which in turn makes you feel good about yourself on the inside.
We always say beauty on the inside is what influences everything else. We invite you to start a conversation about your favourite bra styles, your issues with bra fitting and any tips you may have. Also share how you feel about the importance of beauty from within. At Dear Eve Lingerie we are not just a lingerie business but a community of support for all women of all shapes and sizes.